ESA ISS Exploitation

ALTEC provides a set of services that includes:


ALTEC supports the activities of the Columbus Control Centre providing to its team a Flight Director, two station managers  for the Columbus System and two other managers for DMS (Data Management System ) for the on-board computer management

From 2000 selected training tasks are carried out by ALTEC instructors who work on a permanent basis at the ESA European Astronaut Centre – EAC – in Cologne:

  • COLUMBUS Crew Training System
  • ALTEC instructor is responsible for the ECLSS (Environmental Life Support System) and System Operations for the three levels of astronaut training: User, Operator and Specialist.

  • COLUMBUS Payload Crew Training
  • ALTEC instructors are responsible for Class I Columbus payloads (FSL and EPM) and also for Class II Payload (ESA experiments performed in the ISS on ESA, NASA or Russians modules.

  • ATV Crew Training
  • ALTEC instructor is responsible for on board operations and emergency operations of ATV. Instructor also follows the On Board Training, the Station  Emergency Drills and,  during the mission, follows in real time astronaut activities from the ALTEC control room

ALTEC has created an Engineering Support CenterESC – to provide support to the ESA programs developed within the International Space Station program (Columbus, Payloads, ATV).
The ESC is connected directly to the Columbus Control Center (near Monaco of Bavaria) as well as several European centers responsible for the on orbit operation of the various payloads (EDR, FSL, SOLAR).
The Centre receives telemetry data directly from COL-CC during the working day, while taking a morning back-up data of the previous night. In this way all the telemetry of Columbus and the P / L’s is stored at the Centre to be revisited later in the event of faults or to perform the system efficiency forecast in a short-term period.
In addition, the Centre is equipped with a “voice loops” system that can readily interact with operators located in the COL-CC.
Finally, a video system completes the infrastructure, essential to follow all the operations carried out by astronauts during delicate maintenance tasks on board.

The support provided by the ESC consist of:

  • REAL-TIME support, when the assets are linked to what happens in real time on the Space Station. These require specific tools, an adequate infrastructure in terms of safety, organization of teams and specific procedures.
  • OFF-LINE support, when activities have longer times and are generally carried out with the help of mathematical models, databases, documents relating to the design and simulators.